A Wanted Man – published!

It’s with great delight that I can share the news that A Wanted Man, my debut novel, has been published by Endeavour Press. You can grab it here!

A Wanted Man is, simply put, the story of a soldier who was discarded, but still has more to give. I kept asking myself what it would feel like to give everything for your country, only to come back to find everything was different – including yourself. What would happen if you only have training for things that are of no use at all in regular civilian life? What do you do when you’ve grown up while fighting wars abroad, only for the fighting to end and you’re not needed anymore? When I posed these questions to myself, the character of Ben Bracken began to form in my answers.

When I was 17, I wrote a screenplay that was about a criminal gang in Manchester, UK, near where I still live today. It was profoundly formulaic, and followed similar tropes seen in countless movies over the years. I loved a good crime yarn, and wanted to write one – that was my simple motivation. But as I got older, I mulled over this screenplay time and time again, realising that something was missing. It was only when my own friends and acquaintances started to come back from Afghanistan, and I spoke with them about their experiences, did the penny drop. Their collective states, each varied, inspired me hugely, both in terms of my admiration for them, and creatively as well.

And then I thought about dropping an ex-soldier into that old crime screenplay I’d written. The possibilities suddenly seemed endless, and I was away. The creative process organically seemed to turn the project into a novel, as I started from fresh. Before long I was flying and in 8 weeks, I’d written the first draft.

That was late 2013, and since then I have grown immeasurably, both personally and in terms of my writing, and it’s with immense pride that A Wanted Man finds readers today. I really hope you enjoy it. I had a blast writing it, and there’s plenty more to come from Ben Bracken, mark my words.

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Words I thought I’d never read…

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Above is a cutout from Langtons International Agency’s monthly newsletter, and the official word about the status of The Baby And The Brandy, and its sale to Endeavour Press. To say I’m completely over the moon is an understatement.

I’ve been working with my wonderful agent Linda Langton for over 2 and a half years, during which time she has bestowed such faith and wisdom on me, and always propelled me to be the best I can be. So many times I never thought it possible to read the words above, but thanks to Linda, her never-ending patience, guidance and efforts, I can.

To Linda, and everybody at Langtons International, I extend my most heartfelt thanks. For me, you’ve made the impossible possible. I couldn’t have ever dreamed of better representation.

http://www.langtonsinternational.com

Review – Robert Parker’s Apex

Totally delighted by this review of Apex by Self-Publisher’s Showcase! Thank you very much!

Apex is a stunning adventure thrill-ride from front to back cover. The action and tension is relentless and Parker has created a vigilante that you really want to support even though his methods are somewhat shady. This is a proper novel in that the main protagonist has to use believable means to attain his objective. Mud and moss for camouflage, hunting rabbit on the moor for sustenance, hand to hand combat and a quick mind all play a huge part in a story that would normally be heavy on technology’s use at the hand of lesser authors. Apex is the second Ben Bracken novel, and I found this out after reading Apex so you don’t need to have read the first novel first, although I will be now. The ending is a massive shock, a twist I didn’t see coming and ends abruptly leaving me wanting the next book now. Hurry up Mr Parker I am waiting.

Review – Robert Parker’s Apex

‘Apex’ progress, and what’s coming next!

‘Apex’ progress, and what’s coming next!

Apex kindle cover july 2014

Good day all! 

Thank you all so much for your support with the second Ben Bracken book, ‘Apex’. I always tend to get a little overwhelmed by the kind words reviews and comments, not to mention very very humbled. 

‘Apex’ has already achieved everything I wanted it to achieve, and that is certainly down to the wonderful support myself and the project receive on a daily basis. A number of review…

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Shrovetide Live Feed

I had heard of Shrovetide in my youth, but knew very little about it – save for the fact that it was one of the sporting world’s great curious traditions. When I went to university years later, I met a great bloke called Chris Webb, who was actually from Ashbourne, Derbyshire, which is the heart of the Shrovetide tradition, and he told me all about it. 

Essentially, the town of Ashbourne is split into two with ‘uppards’ versus ‘downards’, depending on where you live. There is a goal at either end of town, and you literally just scrap a ball by any means you can from one end of town to the other, and try to score. Nowhere is off limits and everyone is involved.

It is absolute bedlam, and just plain fantastic.

This is happening right now, and at the above link, you can actually watch it take place in real time. Get on over there, and admire Shrovetide in all its mucky glory. 

Shrovetide Live Feed